The Federal Government has allowed Dangote Cement and other manufacturers to resume exports across its land borders. This is despite the closure of all land borders by the government for over one year.
Nigeria’s land borders with neighbouring countries were closed on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari in August 2019 due to smuggling and other related issues.
The government reportedly gave approval for Africa’s biggest producers to export cement to Niger and Togo in the third quarter for the first time in ten months,
Group Managing Director/CEO of Dangote Cement, Michel Puchercos, who disclosed this on an investor call in Lagos, said the export was made possible “through authorisation given by this administration”.
The gesture to Dangote Cement and other manufacturers is seen as a softening of the government’s position on a border closure that more than a year ago, and could open the way for other businesses to fully resume exports across the country’s land barriers.
Although the blockade encouraged the consumption of locally grown produce such as rice, it hurt factories across West Africa, which rely on Nigeria’s market of 200 million people.
Dangote resumed land export with “restricted volumes” and plans to grow the trade using the sea channels, Puchercos said.